Fog On The Tyne
IT’S amazing to think that just three weeks back I was heading South on a fast train for a weekend in London that included a meeting with a top London Literary Agent in the champagne bar of the Hilton Park Lane and my first ever book signing South of the Border at WH Smith, Kingston Upon Thames.
And I’m delighted to report that both ‘dates’ were resoundingly successful with the 57 books I signed and sold at WH Smith ‘KUT’, in no small part due to the fantastic organisational skills and hospitality of GM Nick Newsum. A gentleman who was indeed a real gent and with whom I’m pictured below at the end of a good day’s work!!
While my meeting with Susan Mears of The Susan Mears Literary Agency was also very fruitful and I am delighted, at last, to now have literary representation through an established, respected agent who has offices in London, Dubai and New York and exceptional contacts in the world of publishing and film.
But going forward tomorrow I start the first leg of my four date WHSmith North of England tour with a trip on the 715am train out of Stirling bound for Newcastle…and the nerves are kicking in already!!
I am hopeful that any members of the ‘Geordie Nation’ who can beat the ‘Fog On The Tyne’ and trot through the doors of WH Smith, Newcastle’s Northumberland Street store between 11am and 3pm, will understand me a bit better than the good citizens of Kingston Upon Thames.
My opening gambit with any ‘punter’ who approaches me at a signing is ‘Good morning young lady (no matter the age) or sir, are you partial to a top quality crime thriller?’
But for some reason my Scottish brogue made understanding the word thriller almost impossible for the denizens of ‘KUT’ and pretty soon I gave up and went with novel.
Still despite my message getting lost in translation 57 sales wasn’t too shabby!
But while I was down in London Town I was as usual ‘eyes on’ devouring locations, people and making other observations with which I will be basing a four or five chapter action sequence of ‘Fear’ the MS I am currently working on, set in the capital.
The picture below is taken in Cannizaro House, Hotel Du Vin Wimbledon, which will be the atmospheric location for an arms deal gone wrong in which former SAS ‘player’ Ludovic Fear finds himself wandering onto the security services grid!
‘Write now’ I am 12,000 words into the MS, which is entitled imaginatively, ‘Fear’, and what I really am enjoying about writing this book is that while some of it is set in my historic home city of Stirling, significant chunks will involve ‘on the road’ sequences (in London) and I’m sure Newcastle will also provide me with something interesting for my back pocket tomorrow.
On top of that I have just learned that my date with Frederick Forsyth CBE, who will be hosting the final of The People’s Book Prize, is on May 23, in The Stationers Hall, London.
Exciting times ahead….I hope!